george orwell

 Eric Arthur Blair

 

 

 

On each landing, opposite the lift shaft

the poster with the enormous face

gazed from the wall .

It was one of those pictures

which are so contrived that the

eyes follow you about

when you move .

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU

the caption beneath it ran .

 

 

 

 

My father’s ideal was to make political writing into an art
richard blair - george orwell's son - post-gazette.com - 2017
if you want a picture of the future
imagine a boot stamping
on a human face - for ever
Man is the only real enemy we have
Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause
of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever

animal farm . cap 1

Perhaps

a lunatic was simply a minority of one

1984

se il pensiero distorce il linguaggio

anche il linguaggio è in grado di distorcere

il pensiero

Forse non c’è tanto bisogno
e quindi desiderio di essere amati
quanto di essere capiti
perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood
Un popolo che elegge
corrotti impostori ladri e traditori
non è vittima
È complice

Good Prose

should be transparent like a window pane
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity

When there is a gap between one's real

and one's declared aims

one turns instinctively to long words

and exhausted idioms

like a cuttlefish squirting out ink

perhaps

a man really dies when his brain stops
when he loses the power to take in a new idea
coming up for air

 

Per vedere

cosa c'è sotto il proprio naso

occorre un grande sforzo

to see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle

tribune - 22 marzo 1946 - in front of your nose

 

nothing
will ever teach these people
that the other 99 percent

of the population exist
diaries

Lo Stato totalitario
fa di tutto per controllare i pensieri e le emozioni dei propri sudditi in modo persino più completo di come ne controlla le azioni.

romanzi e saggi - letteratura e totalitarismo

 

The truth it is felt becomes untruth

when your enemy utters it

Recently I noticed that the very people

who swallowed any and every horror story

about the Japanese in Nanking in 1937

refused to believe exactly the same stories

about Hong Kong in 1942
essays

 It is a mysterious thing the loss of faith

as mysterious as faith itself

Like faith it is ultimately not rooted in logic

it is a change in the climate of the mind
a clergyman's daughter - pag 249 - 1935

 

I libri migliori

sono proprio quelli che dicono

quel che già sappiamo

But it is a corrupting thing

to live one's real life in secret

One should live with the stream of life

not against it
burmese days 1934

We are all drowning in filth. When I talk to anyone or read the writings of anyone who has any axe to grind, I feel that intellectual honesty and balanced judgement have simply disappeared from the face of the earth … Everyone is dishonest, and everyone is utterly heartless towards people who are outside the immediate range of his own interests. What is most striking of all is the way sympathy can be turned on and off like a tap according to political expediency.
1942 diaries

Un bel giorno il partito avrebbe proclamato che due più due fa cinque, e voi avreste dovuto crederci.

Era inevitabile che prima o poi succedesse, era nella logica stessa delle premesse su cui si basava il Partito.  La visione del mondo che lo informava negava, tacitamente, non solo la validità dell'esperienza ma l'esistenza stessa della realtà esterna.  Il senso comune costituiva l'eresia delle eresie.  Ma la cosa terribile non era tanto il fatto che vi avrebbero uccisi che l'aveste pensata diversamente ma che potevano aver ragione loro. In fin dei conti come facciamo a sapere che due più due fa quattro ?

O che la forza di gravità esiste davvero ? O che il passato è immutabile ?

Che cosa succede, se il passato e il mondo esterno esistono solo nella vostra mente e la vostra mente è sotto controllo ?

1984

L'esperienza mi aveva insegnato molto presto

che possiamo commettere degli errori

indipendentemente dalla nostra volontà

e poco tempo dopo imparai anche

che possiamo commettere degli errori

senza neanche capire cosa abbiamo fatto

e perché siano errori
e tali, tali erano le gioie - romanzi e saggi

 

 

 

 

ci incontreremo là dove non c'è tenebra
o' brien in sogno a winston smith - 1984

 

Di solito a questo mondo

se si riscuote un po' di stima

è per qualche cosa che non si merita affatto
giorni in birmania

the further a society drifts from the truth

the more it will hate those that speak it

quanto più una società si allontana dalla verità

tanto più odierà quelli che la dicono


A plongeur is a slave, and a wasted slave, doing stupid and largely unnecessary work. He is kept at work, ultimately, because of a vague feeling that he would be dangerous if he had leisure. And educated people, who should be on his side, acquiesce in the process, because they know nothing about him and consequently are afraid of him.
down and out in paris and london
Quanto più si è consapevoli
delle proprie inclinazioni politiche
tanto maggiore sarà la possibilità
di agire politicamente
senza sacrificare la propria integrità estetica
e intellettuale
È il destino inevitabile del sentimentale
Tutte le sue opinioni mutano e si trasformano
in quelle opposte al primo tocco della realtà
 the road to wigan pier
È solo quando si incontra qualcuno di cultura
ed educazione differenti dalle nostre
che si comincia a scoprire quali siano realmente
le nostre opinioni
it is only when you meet someone of a different culture from yourself
that you begin to realize what your own beliefs really are
 part two

 

may 20, 1937  -  George Orwell was shot in the throat

while fighting for the Republican side in Spain
I have the most evil memories of Spain

but I have very few bad memories of Spaniards
from homage to catalonia - fb/go

 

L'oppressione è il male della gleba
essendo difatti il lato oscuro della pressione
Tutti sono uguali
ma c'è chi è più uguale di altri
Come il lato scaleno di un triangolo equilatero


A NICE CUP OF TEA
- EVENING STANDARD 12 JANUARY 1946
IF YOU LOOK UP 'TEA' IN THE FIRST COOKERY BOOK THAT COMES TO HAND YOU WILL PROBABLY FIND THAT IT IS UNMENTIONED; OR AT MOST YOU WILL FIND A FEW LINES OF SKETCHY INSTRUCTIONS WHICH GIVE NO RULING ON SEVERAL OF THE MOST IMPORTANT POINTS.
THIS IS CURIOUS, NOT ONLY BECAUSE TEA IS ONE OF THE MAIN STAYS OF CIVILIZATION IN THIS COUNTRY, AS WELL AS IN EIRE, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND, BUT BECAUSE THE BEST MANNER OF MAKING IT IS THE SUBJECT OF VIOLENT DISPUTES.
WHEN I LOOK THROUGH MY OWN RECIPE FOR THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA, I FIND NO FEWER THAN ELEVEN OUTSTANDING POINTS. ON PERHAPS TWO OF THEM THERE WOULD BE PRETTY GENERAL AGREEMENT, BUT AT LEAST FOUR OTHERS ARE ACUTELY CONTROVERSIAL.   HERE ARE MY OWN ELEVEN RULES, EVERY ONE OF WHICH I REGARD AS GOLDEN :

- FIRST OF ALL
ONE SHOULD USE INDIAN OR CEYLONESE TEA.   CHINA TEA HAS VIRTUES WHICH ARE NOT TO BE DESPISED NOWADAYS - IT IS ECONOMICAL, AND ONE CAN DRINK IT WITHOUT MILK - BUT THERE IS NOT MUCH STIMULATION IN IT.   ONE DOES NOT FEEL WISER, BRAVER OR MORE OPTIMISTIC AFTER DRINKING IT.   ANYONE WHO HAS USED THAT COMFORTING PHRASE 'A NICE CUP OF TEA' INVARIABLY MEANS INDIAN TEA.
- SECONDLY
TEA SHOULD BE MADE IN SMALL QUANTITIES - THAT IS, IN A TEAPOT.   TEA OUT OF AN URN IS ALWAYS TASTELESS, WHILE ARMY TEA, MADE IN A CAULDRON, TASTES OF GREASE AND WHITEWASH. THE TEAPOT SHOULD BE MADE OF CHINA OR EARTHENWARE.   SILVER OR BRITANNIAWARE TEAPOTS PRODUCE INFERIOR TEA AND ENAMEL POTS ARE WORSE; THOUGH CURIOUSLY ENOUGH A PEWTER TEAPOT - A RARITY NOWADAYS - IS NOT SO BAD.
- THIRDLY
THE POT SHOULD BE WARMED BEFOREHAND.   THIS IS BETTER DONE BY PLACING IT ON THE HOB THAN BY THE USUAL METHOD OF SWILLING IT OUT WITH HOT WATER.
- FOURTHLY
THE TEA SHOULD BE STRONG.   FOR A POT HOLDING A QUART, IF YOU ARE GOING TO FILL IT NEARLY TO THE BRIM, SIX HEAPED TEASPOONS WOULD BE ABOUT RIGHT.   IN A TIME OF RATIONING, THIS IS NOT AN IDEA THAT CAN BE REALIZED ON EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK, BUT I MAINTAIN THAT ONE STRONG CUP OF TEA IS BETTER THAN TWENTY WEAK ONES.   ALL TRUE TEA LOVERS NOT ONLY LIKE THEIR TEA STRONG, BUT LIKE IT A LITTLE STRONGER WITH EACH YEAR THAT PASSES - A FACT WHICH IS RECOGNIZED IN THE EXTRA RATION ISSUED TO OLD-AGE PENSIONERS.
- FIFTHLY
THE TEA SHOULD BE PUT STRAIGHT INTO THE POT. NO STRAINERS, MUSLIN BAGS OR OTHER DEVICES TO IMPRISON THE TEA. IN SOME COUNTRIES TEAPOTS ARE FITTED WITH LITTLE DANGLING BASKETS UNDER THE SPOUT TO CATCH THE STRAY LEAVES, WHICH ARE SUPPOSED TO BE HARMFUL.   ACTUALLY ONE CAN SWALLOW TEA-LEAVES IN CONSIDERABLE QUANTITIES WITHOUT ILL EFFECT AND IF THE TEA IS NOT LOOSE IN THE POT IT NEVER INFUSES PROPERLY.
- SIXTHLY
ONE SHOULD TAKE THE TEAPOT TO THE KETTLE AND NOT THE OTHER WAY ABOUT.   THE WATER SHOULD BE ACTUALLY BOILING AT THE MOMENT OF IMPACT, WHICH MEANS THAT ONE SHOULD KEEP IT ON THE FLAME WHILE ONE POURS.   SOME PEOPLE ADD THAT ONE SHOULD ONLY USE WATER THAT HAS BEEN FRESHLY BROUGHT TO THE BOIL, BUT I HAVE NEVER NOTICED THAT IT MAKES ANY DIFFERENCE.
- SEVENTHLY
AFTER MAKING THE TEA, ONE SHOULD STIR IT, OR BETTER, GIVE THE POT A GOOD SHAKE, AFTERWARDS ALLOWING THE LEAVES TO SETTLE.
- EIGHTHLY
ONE SHOULD DRINK OUT OF A GOOD BREAKFAST CUP - THAT IS, THE CYLINDRICAL TYPE OF CUP, NOT THE FLAT, SHALLOW TYPE. THE BREAKFAST CUP HOLDS MORE, AND WITH THE OTHER KIND ONE'S TEA IS ALWAYS HALF COLD BEFORE ONE HAS WELL STARTED ON IT.
- NINTHLY
ONE SHOULD POUR THE CREAM OFF THE MILK BEFORE USING IT FOR TEA.   MILK THAT IS TOO CREAMY ALWAYS GIVES TEA A SICKLY TASTE.
- TENTHLY
ONE SHOULD POUR TEA INTO THE CUP FIRST.   THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL POINTS OF ALL; INDEED IN EVERY FAMILY IN BRITAIN THERE ARE PROBABLY TWO SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT ON THE SUBJECT.   THE MILK-FIRST SCHOOL CAN BRING FORWARD SOME FAIRLY STRONG ARGUMENTS, BUT I MAINTAIN THAT MY OWN ARGUMENT IS UNANSWERABLE.  THIS IS THAT, BY PUTTING THE TEA IN FIRST AND STIRRING AS ONE POURS, ONE CAN EXACTLY REGULATE THE AMOUNT OF MILK WHEREAS ONE IS LIABLE TO PUT IN TOO MUCH MILK IF ONE DOES IT THE OTHER WAY ROUND.
- LASTLY
TEA - UNLESS ONE IS DRINKING IT IN THE RUSSIAN STYLE - SHOULD BE DRUNK WITHOUT SUGAR.   I KNOW VERY WELL THAT I AM IN A MINORITY HERE. BUT STILL, HOW CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF A TRUE TEALOVER IF YOU DESTROY THE FLAVOUR OF YOUR TEA BY PUTTING SUGAR IN IT ?   IT WOULD BE EQUALLY REASONABLE TO PUT IN PEPPER OR SALT.   TEA IS MEANT TO BE BITTER, JUST AS BEER IS MEANT TO BE BITTER. IF YOU SWEETEN IT, YOU ARE NO LONGER TASTING THE TEA, YOU ARE MERELY TASTING THE SUGAR; YOU COULD MAKE A VERY SIMILAR DRINK BY DISSOLVING SUGAR IN PLAIN HOT WATER.

SOME PEOPLE WOULD ANSWER THAT THEY DON'T LIKE TEA IN ITSELF, THAT THEY ONLY DRINK IT IN ORDER TO BE WARMED AND STIMULATED, AND THEY NEED SUGAR TO TAKE THE TASTE AWAY. TO THOSE MISGUIDED PEOPLE I WOULD SAY: TRY DRINKING TEA WITHOUT SUGAR FOR, SAY, A FORTNIGHT AND IT IS VERY UNLIKELY THAT YOU WILL EVER WANT TO RUIN YOUR TEA BY SWEETENING IT AGAIN.
THESE ARE NOT THE ONLY CONTROVERSIAL POINTS TO ARISE IN CONNEXION WITH TEA DRINKING, BUT THEY ARE SUFFICIENT TO SHOW HOW SUBTILIZED THE WHOLE BUSINESS HAS BECOME. THERE IS ALSO THE MYSTERIOUS SOCIAL ETIQUETTE SURROUNDING THE TEAPOT - WHY IS IT CONSIDERED VULGAR TO DRINK OUT OF YOUR SAUCER, FOR INSTANCE ? - AND MUCH MIGHT BE WRITTEN ABOUT THE SUBSIDIARY USES OF TEALEAVES, SUCH AS TELLING FORTUNES, PREDICTING THE ARRIVAL OF VISITORS, FEEDING RABBITS, HEALING BURNS AND SWEEPING THE CARPET.   IT IS WORTH PAYING ATTENTION TO SUCH DETAILS AS WARMING THE POT AND USING WATER THAT IS REALLY BOILING, SO AS TO MAKE QUITE SURE OF WRINGING OUT OF ONE'S RATION THE TWENTY GOOD, STRONG CUPS OF THAT TWO OUNCES, PROPERLY HANDLED, OUGHT TO REPRESENT.
the collected essays - journalism and letters - volume 3 - 1943-45



the Seven Commandments
1 - Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy
2 - Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend
3 - No animal shall wear clothes                     
4 - No animal shall sleep in a bed                    
5 - No animal shall drink alcohol                  
6 - No animal shall kill any other animal    
7 - All animals are equal                                  

animal farm - 1945


 

 

george orwell  -  ERIC ARTHUR BLAIR

motihari  bihar  british india - bengala india 25 giugno 1903

             university college hospital - londra  21 gennaio 1950

fece parte della polizia imperiale in birmania .  giornalista repubblicano durante la guerra di spagna prese rapidamente le distanza dalla cecità degli intellettuali  sul totalitarismo staliniano.   i suoi scritti anticipatori descrivono  avvenimenti di una  dittatura planetaria fondata sulla manipolazione  della struttura del linguaggio. condusse sempre la sua attività letteraria in parallelo con quella di giornalista e attivista politico . rimase  d'ispirazione politica di sinistra . antisovietico e antistalinista si scontrò con una consistente parte di sinistra europea.

nel 1936 sposò eileen o'shaugnessy e dopo la guerra adottarono un bambino ma  eileen morì poco dopo nel 1945. 

risposatosi nel 1949 con sonia brownell assistente presso magazine horizon mori nel 1950 per le complicazioni della tubercolosi a 46 anni  .

    more info

 

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